Playing Fetch with a Stick – Not a Good Idea

My dog Maya loves sticks. She loves sticks so much that she has torn down all the branches within reach from the trees in my backyard. At first, I thought nothing of it. She loves sticks, so why not? That is what I used to think until I read about the dangers.

The first time I heard about the dangers of chewing on or fetching sticks was in the book, “On Toby’s Terms” by Charmaine Hammond. This book is mostly about a dog named Toby who has issues with separation anxiety, but it also talked briefly about Toby’s incident with a stick. See, while Toby was playing fetch with a stick he accidentally ran the stick into the ground while he was carrying it. The stick tore a hole in his esophagus. It was so bad that the vet could not do surgery to stitch it up. Toby’s injury had to heal on its own and there was a very good possibility that it would not heal at all. If it did not heal, it might have been the end of Toby for his injury was painful and he would have been left to suffer. In “On Toby’s Terms”, Charmaine had said that the vet mentioned that he sees cases like this all the time and not all dogs were as lucky as Toby.

Another thing which sticks could cause is splinters in the throat or intestines. If a dog swallows a big wooden splinter, the splinter could get lodged and/or it could puncture a hole. Both situations could result in having to do emergency surgery or it could even lead to death.

When I took the photo above, I did not know the dangers. And I thought it was silly that Maya had discovered that sticks grow on trees. But Maya does not get to chew or fetch sticks anymore. I have picked up all the sticks from the back yard and there are no longer any within reach on the trees. For your pet’s safety, we strongly urge you to do the same.

Saturday is the day for the Saturday Blog Hop. Since we are not able to put html code on this wordpress site, here is a link to a dog site that has the Saturday Blog Hop and lots of other dog blogs –

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2 Responses to “Playing Fetch with a Stick – Not a Good Idea”

  1. Rayya The Vet Says:

    Great article…You should replace the sticks with yummy raw bones and safe toyz to chew…:-)

    • ILoveDogs Says:

      Thanks! :0)
      Sephi and Maya do not lack for toys. Toys which they can tear up are only allowed when I am able to monitor (toys like rope toys and such). The Kong is available any time. They also have some bones. No rawhide bones, though. Sephi and Maya eat the rawhide in big chunks which could cause stomach blockage.

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